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SEPTEMBER 2020

Mexican Authorities Arrest Least Significant Cartel Leader To Prove Fight Is Still Going

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Mexican Authorities Arrest Least Significant Cartel Leader To Prove Fight Is Still Going

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On August 2nd, Mexican authorities arrested one of the country’s most notorious criminals – José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, known as “El Marro” – the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel.

The cartel, based in the central state of Guanajuato that has specialized in oil theft, stealing billions of dollars from the country’s pipelines and refineries in recent years.

 

Guanajuato state Governor Diego Sinhué Rodríguez Vallejo said the operation that led to Yépez Ortiz’s detention morning was conducted by both state and federal law enforcement, and that a kidnapped business executive also had been freed.

Ortiz came specifically into the spotlight just a few weeks ago when he threatened the entire Mexican government with retribution in several videos.

He published them after his mother and sister. The Mexican army said an operation involving both state and federal officials captured the two family members.

Enraged members of the gang blocked highways and set cars and trucks ablaze along roads in the state and Yépez Ortiíz threatened further disturbances in a video distributed to local news media.

“They humiliated and did what they want with the family and I am going to be a stone in their shoe,” he said.

The operation on June 20th resulted in the arrest of 31 individuals total, and all of them were released on June 29th, due to lack of evidence.

This isn’t the first time a significant cartel leader was arrested. In late 2019, the Mexican army staged an operation in the city of Culiacán aimed at arresting Ovidio Guzmán, the son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who is imprisoned in the United States.

Shortly after his arrest, Ovidio Guzman was released because heavily armed cartel members filled the streets of Culiacan and turned the area around the police station into an actual battlefield.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador has, generally, failed to provide a uniform response to cartel violence, with murder and kidnapping rates soaring in the country.

He said that Mexican authorities needed to defeat the cartel with intellect, rather than with force.

In 2020, a video circulated of López Obrador greeting the mother of El Chapo during a visit to Sinaloa. The president called her “an elderly woman that deserves my respect, regardless of who her son is.” Which alone is ridiculous.

The arrest of El Marro, Mexican authorities are attempting to show their willingness to pursue a more direct strategy against the cartels.

However, it should be noted that Santa Rosa de Lima cartel and its leader are one of the cartels with the least influence, it is heavily localized and it is incomparable to that of Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which is likely the most powerful group in the country.

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